Don’t hold your breath on seeing Jennette McCurdy make a surprise return in the upcoming iCarly revival on Paramount+. In the original Nickelodeon series, McCurdy starred as Sam Puckett in all six seasons, later reprising the role to appear alongside Ariana Grande in the short-lived spinoff series Sam & Cat. She announced her retirement from acting in 2017 to focus on writing and directing, but some iCarly fans have been hopeful that the former actress would come out of retirement for the revival.
Speaking about the current state of her career on her Empty Inside podcast with guest Anna Faris, McCurdy reiterated that her acting career is over. The former actress did return to the stage as a thespian in February 2020 for the one-woman show I’m Glad My Mom Died, but McCurdy explains that this was a one-off and that she only made the exception to honor her late mother.
“I quit a few years ago to try my hand and writing and directing-it’s going great… I wrote this one-woman show, and I performed that, and I really did not want to because of the nerve. Because of feeling like I don’t want to f–king act anymore, ‘I’m done.’ .. So I did it just for that show, but I think that one-woman show would be the most of it.”
Elaborating on why something like an iCarly revival doesn’t interest her, McCurdy detailed how she always felt embarrassed to be a part of the series and still resents that part of her career.
“My experience with acting is, I’m so ashamed of the parts I’ve done in the past. I resent my career in a lot of ways. I feel so unfulfilled by the roles that I played and felt like it was the most cheesy, embarrassing. I did the shows that I was on from like 13 to 21, and by 15, I was already embarrassed. My friends at 15, they’re not like, ‘Oh, cool, you’re on this Nickelodeon show.’ It was embarrassing. And I imagine there’s a very different experience to be had with acting if you’re proud of your roles, and if you feel fulfilled by them.”
While the iCarly revival isn’t convincing McCurdy to step back in front of the camera, she admits that she’s leaving the door open to one day return to acting, but only with a director that she particularly admired. McCurdy also suggests that she’s eager to shed the image she had as a Nickelodeon personality, so anything even similar to her work as a child star is immediately out of consideration.
“If it were a director I really admired, or somebody whose work I really admired, then I would be so excited. If a role in a Kenneth Lonergan film came along and I was able to audition, I would be like, ‘Oh my god, yes.’ But just because of my past and the auditions that would come across my eyes… It was like, ‘Okay, this is what the industry sees me as.’ I don’t want to do that. I’m not willing to do that.”
Although McCurdy won’t be involved, the iCarly revival series brings back several other major characters from the original show. Miranda Cosgrove, Nathan Kress, and Jerry Trainor will all be reprising their roles. We shouldn’t bank on seeing Sam, but it’s possible the revival will still mention the character, similar to the Saved by the Bell reboot giving a nod to Screech.
The iCarly revival will be arriving on Paramount+ sometime this year, and a sneak peek preview video has already been released. You can listen to the full interview on Empty Inside with Jennette McCurdy.